Reta Jo Lewis, ex-State Department official, enters D.C. mayor race

( D.C. mayoral candidate Reta Jo Lewis. (Courtesy of

A former high-ranking State Department official is a surprise fourth entrant to the 2014 D.C. mayoral race.

Reta Jo Lewis, until recently Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s special representative for global intergovernmental affairs, unveiled her campaign on a Web site, Facebook page and Twitter account Tuesday.

Lewis, according to a biography on her campaign Web site, is a Georgia native who moved to the District 35 years ago and now lives in the NoMa neighborhood. Though she spent time in District government during the Sharon Pratt administration, serving as chief of staff to the Department of Public Works, Lewis has spent much of her career since in federal service. She worked as a special assistant to President Bill Clinton — serving as an intergovernmental liaison, among other roles — and later joined Hillary Clinton at the State Department.

She also has worked as an attorney, served as a vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and was director of business outreach for President Obama’s 2008 transition.

Lewis’s Web site is, thus far, long on biography but short on platform: “Together, with you, I believe that we can move our great city forward,” it reads. “By building on our City’s past successes and with an eye toward the future, we can make Washington, D.C. the world-class city we deserve.

Larry Decker, a campaign spokesman, said Tuesday’s announcement was made to “friends and former colleagues” and will kick off a listening tour around the city that will culminate in a higher-profile campaign kickoff toward the end of the summer.

In entering the mayoral race, Lewis joins a trio of D.C. Council members: Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) and Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6). Incumbent Vincent C. Gray (D) has yet to decide whether he will seek reelection.

Lewis is running as a Democrat, Decker confirmed. The primary is scheduled for April 1.

Mike DeBonis covers Congress and national politics for The Washington Post. He previously covered D.C. politics and government from 2007 to 2015.



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Mike DeBonis · July 2, 2013

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